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United States v. Lewis

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

April 24, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DEWAYNE LEWIS

          OPINION AND ORDER

          THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE THERESA L. SPRINGMANN

         The Defendant, Dewayne Lewis, was charged with one count, that on or about February 1, 2015, he violated 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), by knowingly and intentionally possessing, with the intent to distribute, a controlled substance, namely 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. At the request of the parties, and after the Defendant knowingly waived his right to a trial by jury [ECF No. 376], the Court conducted a criminal bench trial from October 9, 2018, through October 11, 2018. At the conclusion of the trial, the Court set the deadline for the Defendant's requested opportunity to file proposed findings of fact (Tr. 590.5-8). After the Defendant's request [ECF No. 391], an extension was granted [ECF No. 393], and the Defendant's Request for Special Findings of Fact were filed on February 19, 2019 [ECF No. 403]. On that same day, the Court conducted an in-person hearing [ECF No. 405], at which the Defendant chose to proceed pro se and asked that the Court allow him to file additional proposed findings of fact, after the Government had filed its own, among other documents. The Court granted the Defendant's request. The Government filed its Proposed Findings of Fact on March 19, 2019 [ECF No. 423] and the Defendant filed his Supplemental Proposed Findings of Fact on March 22, 2019 [ECF No. 424]. On April 5, 2019, the Defendant filed a Response to the Government's Proposed Findings of Fact [ECF No. 432], to which the Government replied [ECF No. 433] on April 9, 2019; and the Defendant filed a final Response to the Government's Reply on April 16, 2019 [ECF No. 435]. The Court has reviewed all these submissions before reaching its decision.

         PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE

         On October 9, 2018, the Government began its case in chief by presenting Jay Arnold as a fact witness. (Tr. 13.15-20). Arnold is a Detective Sergeant with the Greenwood Police Department. (Tr. 14.6-11). Arnold identified Government's Exhibits 1 through 10, as various photographs from the search conducted at room 211 of the Red Roof Inn on February 3, 2015. (Tr. 18.8-10; 20.11-17; 23.10-15; see generally Tr. 23-44).

         After the Defendant cross-examined Arnold, the Stipulation regarding chain of custody [ECF No. 386] was read into the record.

         Next, the Government presented fact witness Kyle Freeman, a detective with the Drug Enforcement Section of the Indiana State Police. (Tr. 56.15-57.14). Freeman identified Government's Exhibits 11 through 29, including sub-exhibits (e.g., 20-A through 20-C), as various photographs also from the search conducted at room 211 of the Red Roof Inn on February 3, 2015. (Tr. 59.2-6; 60.17-20; 61.23-25; see generally Tr. 62-81). Freeman also identified Government's Exhibit 30, as a bag with a note on top of it, depicted in some of the earlier exhibits. (Tr. 81.15-82.2). The parties later stipulated to the admissibility of Exhibit 30. (Tr. 126.21-127.8).

         Next, the Government presented fact witness Jason York. (Tr. 97.6-9). York is an officer with the Greenwood Police Department, assigned to the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force. (Tr. 97.13-19).

         Next, the Government presented fact witness Kelly Stewart. (Tr. 104.22-25). Stewart is a special agent with the FBI. (Tr. 105.4-8). Stewart identified Government's Exhibits 31 through 37, including sub-exhibits, as photographs documenting the condition of certain sealed evidence boxes containing currency during stages of opening the box and the packages of currency inside (Tr. 106.7-22; 107.7-11; see generally Tr. 107-17). Stewart also identified Government's Exhibits 37-A and 37-B, as photographs of, respectively, a red duffel bag and its contents. (Tr. 116.20-17.4).

         After the Defendant cross-examined Stewart, the Stipulation regarding fingerprints [ECF No. 379] was read into the record.

         Next, the Government presented fact witness Jon K. Sacchini. (Tr. 134.6-9). Sacchini is a special agent with the FBI. (Tr. 134.10-12). Sacchini identified Government's Exhibit 44 as the scenes he sketched for the January 27, 2015, search of 1940 County Road 75, in Butler, Indiana. (Tr. 135.3-21; see generally 135-40).

         Next, the Government presented fact witness Andrew Willmann. (Tr. 144.21-24). Willmann is a special agent with the FBI. (Tr. 144.25-45.1). Willman identified Government's Exhibits 45-A through 45-F as photographs of the items of “evidentiary value” taken during the January 27, 2015, search of 1940 County Road 75, in Butler, Indiana. (Tr. 146.2-9; 147.3-15; see generally Tr. 148-49).

         Next, the Government presented Tim Bates. (Tr. 150.22-25). Tim Bates is no relation to Allan Bates, who testified later in the trial. (Tr. 151.1-3). Tim Bates is a special agent with the FBI. (Tr. 151.4-5). Tim Bates identified Government's Exhibits 48-A through 48-E[1] as photographs taken during a January 27, 2015, search of 4126 Richfield Lane in Fort Wayne, Indiana. (Tr. 151.24-52.2; 152.12-53.7). Tim Bates also identified Government's Exhibit 47 as a photocopy of a drug ledger located during the same search. (Tr. 153.19-54.7). The exhibits were conditionally admitted upon presentation and admitted without conditions after the parties argued an objection to relevancy. (Tr. 257.7-17).

         Next, the Government presented Aldalberto Martinez as a fact witness; Martinez works for the Indiana State Police and is currently assigned to the FBI's Fort Wayne Safe Streets Gang Task Force. (Tr. 158.12-24). Martinez identified Government's Exhibit 40 as two disks containing the recorded interview with Dewayne Lewis, the Defendant, which took place on February 4, 2015. (Tr. 166.3-67.2). Martinez also identified Government's Exhibit 39 as the waiver of Miranda Rights referenced in the interview. (Tr. 167.19-68.18). Upon the conclusion of reviewing Exhibit 40, the Court recessed for the day. (Tr. 178.8-11).

         On October 10, 2018, Martinez's testimony as a fact witness continued. (Tr. 215.1-15). Martinez identified Government's Exhibit 41 as a photograph, shown to the Defendant during the interview recorded on Exhibit 40, which according to that interview, depicts the Defendant (Tr. 217.16-22; 218.16-19.3). Martinez also identified Government's Exhibits 38-A through 38-C as a map and aerial views of the area of 1940 County Road 74, in Butler, Indiana. (Tr. 223.8- 24.18). Martinez also identified Government's Exhibits 42-A through 42-E as photographs of the hiding place at the 1940 Country Road 75 address. (Tr. 227.8-233.21).

         After the conclusion of Martinez's fact testimony, the Stipulation regarding Controlled Substances at the Greenwood Room [ECF No. 381] was read into the record. (Tr. 252.21-53.17).

         The Government next presented fact witness Brad Shultz, a patrol trooper in Allen County with the Indiana State Police. (Tr. 258.15-23). Shultz identified Government's Exhibits 43-A through 43-E as photographs depicting a truck, which Shultz stopped, and the items found in the truck. (Tr. 268.21-69.23). The exhibits were admitted after the Defendant's objection to relevancy was overruled. (Tr. 508.22-10.14).

         The Government next presented fact witness James Lepper. (Tr. 271.15-19). Lepper has pled guilty, and as part of his plea agreement, agreed to testify truthfully; he hopes to receive a benefit for his testimony. (Tr. 281.9-23).

         The Defendant next presented fact witness Brian Harshman as part of his case in chief;[2]Harshman works for the Indiana State Police and is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force in Indianapolis. (Tr. 284.9-14).

         The Government next presented Rob Smith, a trooper with the Indiana State Police. (Tr. 291.16-19). Smith identified Government's Exhibits 46-A through 46-F as photographs depicting various items of evidence found at 7212 Treverton Drive during a search on January 27, 2015. (Tr. 293.9-18; 298.24-99.23). The items were admitted without conditions after the Court ruled on the Defendant's objection to relevancy. (Tr. 508.22-10.14).

         After the conclusion of Smith's testimony, the Stipulation regarding Controlled Substances at the Treverton Drive Residence [ECF No. 380] was read into the record. (Tr. 304.24-06.16).

         The Government next presented fact witness Jeffrey Robertson, a special agent with the FBI. (Tr. 309.6-12).

         The Government next presented Michael Irvin, a senior forensic examiner with the FBI. (Tr. 319.19-20.6). Irvin was accepted as an expert in the area of forensic data retrieval from cellular phones. (Tr. 325.11-20). Irvin identified Government's Exhibit 49 as a broken telephone he reviewed. (Tr. 326.11-27.15; 330.15-24). Irvin also identified Government's Exhibits 50-A through 50-C as various sheets containing data from Exhibit 49. (Tr. 338.4-39.16; 342.20-45.21; 342.6-21).

         The Government next presented fact witness Allan Bates. (Tr. 350.8-11). Bates has pled guilty, and as part of his plea agreement, agreed to testify truthfully; he hopes to receive a benefit for his testimony. (Tr. 352.12-53.15).

         The Government next presented fact witness Christopher Cook. (Tr. 410.11-17). Cook has pled guilty, and as part of his plea agreement, agreed to testify truthfully; he hopes to receive a benefit for his testimony. (Tr. 410.23-11.15). After Cook was excused, the evidence presentation ceased for the second day of trial. (Tr. 422.22-23.3).

         On October 11, 2018, the Government presented Martinez as an expert witness on the subject of drug trafficking. (Tr. 476.14-17). After the conclusion of Martinez' testimony, the Government moved to admit Exhibit 51, certified records from the Red Roof Inn, showing that “Michael Jackson” rented room 211; noting that the records were a copy, and that the parties stipulated that “Michael Jackson” was a separate individual from the Defendant, the Court admitted the exhibit. (Tr. 510.23-15.5). The Government then rested. (Tr. 515.24).

         For the Defendant's case in chief, he began by presenting fact witness James Keszei, a special agent with the FBI. (Tr. 517.17-24). The Defendant then presented fact witness Thomas Boyle. (Tr. 522.12-19). The Defendant then rested.

         Each side presented closing arguments. (see generally Tr. 538-591).

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         Based on the evidence presented, the Government has established the following ...


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